New Zealand Head Coach Michael Maguire has named the same 17 that beat World Champions Australia a fortnight ago for their first test against England in Hull’s KC Stadium 2.30pm kick off on Saturday afternoon.
The only change to the squad from the 26-24 win at the Mount Smart stadium in Auckland is to the extended bench, where Canberra second rower Joseph Tapine comes in as 19th man, while Melbourne Storms utility back Jahrome Hughes is named as 18th man.
Speaking about his selection the former Wigan Warriors and South Sydney coach said the players who beat Australia had earned the right to line up in the opening match as his side look to continue their rebuilding process after last years disastrous World Cup campaign which saw them defeated by Tier 2 side Tonga in the pool match’s before Coming the first Tier 1 team to fail to reach the Semi final stages after losing to Fiji in the Quarter finals.
Speaking about this process Maguire said;
“What we achieved in New Zealand against the Kangaroos was a start and the players recognise it was just that, a start,”
“Our focus since leaving New Zealand has been fixed on this first Test. We have a group of players here who are exceptionally passionate about playing for the jersey. I’ve seen that. There are great signs for where we’re going but we need to make sure we do everything right this week.”
There is a number of chances to the side that faced England in Denver earlier this year, with seven players in the squad having played ten or less games at this level, Maguire has recalled a number of experienced players that missed out during last years world cup either due to Injury or disciplinary reasons, which include former skipper Jesse Bromwich and second rower Kevin Proctor.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will again captian the side from the full back position in the absence of Dally M medal winner Rodger Tuivasa-Sheck who picked up an injury playing for his club side the New Zealand ‘Vodafone’ Warriors in the NRL play offs.
NEW ZEALAND KIWIS
1 DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK (c) (Penrith Panthers)
2 KEN MAUMALO (Vodafone Warriors)
3 ESAN MARSTERS (Wests Tigers)
4 JOSEPH MANU (Sydney Roosters)
5 JORDAN RAPANA (Canberra Raiders)
6 SHAUN JOHNSON (Vodafone Warriors)
7 KODI NIKORIMA (Brisbane Broncos)
8 JESSE BROMWICH (Melbourne Storm)
9 BRANDON SMITH (Melbourne Storm)
10 JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES (Sydney Roosters)
11 KEVIN PROCTOR (Gold Coast Titans)
12 ISAAC LIU (Sydney Roosters)
13 JAMES FISHER-HARRIS (Penrith Panthers)
14 KENNY BROMWICH (Melbourne Storm)
15 LEESON AH MAU (St George Illawarra Dragons)
16 MARTIN TAUPAU (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
17 ADAM BLAIR (Vodafone Warriors)
18 JAHROME HUGHES (Melbourne Storm)
19 JOSEPH TAPINE (Canberra Raiders)